By TAMMY HOLLOWAY
Bay Haven Inn
December 6, 2013
The 12 Days of Cape Charles Christmas kicks off today (Friday) with the 18th Annual Northampton County Chamber Holiday Progressive Dinner Tour where guests are treated to a Progressive Dinner Feast as featured in the December issue of Southern Living magazine.
Throughout the 12-day period, events will be offered that provide opportunities for people to celebrate, share, give, and unite. Many of the events are free or have a nominal charge. A bounty of offerings for children and adults alike such as Santa arriving via skiff during the lighted boat parade and continuing his journey via lighted golf cart parade.
Participants will follow a luminary lit path that culminates at Central Park for the GRAND ILLUMINATION, December 7.
Sunday afternoon, December 8, adults will not want to miss the Holiday Wine Tasting Event, where Gull Hummock Gourmet Food Market offers wine and food pairings, wine selections from “Women of the Vine,” and female wine specialists will showcase wine from four continents.
As the 12 days celebration continues the town kicks off the week of giving by declaring Monday, December 9, Random Act of Kindness Day. “We encourage residents to visit a friend who might live alone, send a card, buy someone’s lunch at one of restaurants in town or simply thank someone for the kindness they give all year long,” says Mayor Dora Sullivan. [Read more…]
December 6, 2013
Now that the air and water has finally cooled, trucks and boat trailers overrun the parking lot and roads around Cape Charles harbor — sure signs that the rockfish season is now in full swing. This time of year also marks the start of the North Atlantic right whale calving season which begins in November and runs through April. The whales are now migrating from their normal habitat in northeast U.S and Canada to the south coast of Georgia and Florida. NOAA Fisheries reminds boaters to be aware of these whales, and to take precautions to avoid collisions. There are fewer than 400 left, making them the most endangered marine mammal in the world.
The right whale got its name from northeast whalers who called it “the right whale” to hunt. These mammals had large amounts of blubber, were very slow swimmers, and once harpooned, tended to roll over and float, making them easy to strip and clean. Chapters 93-96 in Melville’s Moby Dick describe capturing the whale and the process of cutting the blubber into sections and preparing it for rendering.
Adult whales average 40-55 feet in length, can weigh up to 140,000 pounds, and may live up to 50 years. They spend the majority of their lives in the zooplankton- rich waters off northeastern U.S. and Canada. (Having no teeth, they mainly feed on copepods, euphausiids, and cyprids). In the fall of each year pregnant females migrate south to give birth to calves that are 10-15 feet long and weigh up to 1.5 metric tons. After birth, the calves drink mother’s milk for 8 to 17 months.
The coasts of Georgia and Florida are the only known calving areas for right whales, and NOAA wants to raise awareness of their migratory patterns and movement. The biggest issue is that, even as it would seem easy to spot something as big as a whale, in reality it is very difficult. They are dark, do not have dorsal fins, and swim just below the surface of the water. The only way is to be keenly aware of any changes in the texture of the water surface. [Read more…]